GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The sounds of summer can be sweet music for those who need a little help, like James Maye, a 90-year-old Gaston Point resident who has been living by himself for five years. Maye needed a little assistance maintaining his yard.
"I think they're doing a fine job," he said. "I really appreciate what ya'll are doing because I really need the help."
Members of the West Gulfport Civic Club plan to cut grass for each of their clients in need four times this summer as a yard-work project. The goal is to do four yards each Saturday.
"It makes them feel like we are doing something in the neighborhood being the West Gulfport Civic Club," said club President Mickey Gholar. "It makes them happy to know that they got some people that care about them."
And sometimes it goes beyond. Even though the project has just begun, it may already be finding new directions. Club members are finding out that there is more to helping seniors than just cutting grass.
"When I walked in, and I saw Mr. Maye, I saw that he may be in need of services that are also available to senior citizens that maybe he wasn't aware of," said Patricia Silva-Mujica. "We didn't go into the [project] looking for that, but we see it as we make contact with seniors."
The program is designed to go all through the summer. And, while it helps those people who need it the most, it also teaches a valuable life lesson, especially for young people.
"It's no money involved," Gholar said. "But it's something that will help them feel good and make them ... you know, give them something to do."
Members of the Progressive Missionary Baptist Church youth group are getting as much as they are giving.
"I learned because Pastor kept preaching about it, and people were telling me to do it," said youth volunteer Valentino McClelland. "So, I had to do it to help the elderly and help my whole community.
"It makes me feel like a better person," he said.
If you want to help or know someone who needs help in the Gaston Point area, you can call Patricia Silva-Mujica at 228-547-8137.